Improved search

Since the beginning with Supernotes, I’ve been adding parental context to common note titles to compensate for the relatively poor search results. For example, I use Screenshots | Building a Second Brain, Study note | Building a Second Brain, and Metadata | Building a Second Brain as card titles, even though those cards are already children of a card called Building a Second Brain | Tiago Forte.

If search gave more (any?) weight to parent card titles, then I wouldn’t have to add this redundant information in the note titles. In that case, searching for Study note building would automatically return the Study note card that’s a child of Building a Second Brain, because it’s taking parental context into account.

I’d even be happy to manually separate child and parent search terms, if that makes it easier to develop the feature. For example, I could imaging searching for Study note | building to help Supernotes understand that it should search for building in parent notes.

It would be particularly useful if this feature worked across multiple parents, as sometimes the identifiable context for a child is its grandparent, rather than its parent. For example, I currently use <Person's name>1:1s<Person's name> | <Date> as the structure and titles for my 1:1 notes.

With an improved search, I could drop the person’s name from the meeting notes, and a search for 2022-08-01 John Doe or 2022-08-01 | | John Doe would still find the appropriate meeting note.

Thanks for the in-depth feature request @JamesT.

Indexing parent keywords within the search for card names definitely makes a lot of sense. We acknowledge the current search and filtering experience has a lot of room for improvement at the moment – and is a bit fragmented. Our eventual aim is to bring it all together, combining Search + Filters and giving you a more powerful, faster and flexible experience – both searching locally within the noteboard and globally within the command prompt. So you could search for parent: building && study note to find all the notes within a ‘building’ parent and titled study notes.

We hope to get this out soon! Currently we are reworking the user interface to make the experience between across mobile and desktop simpler and more seamless. We are planning to move filters to be beside search, with the idea of combining them in the future in mind.

That sounds like an interesting approach, although your proposed search syntax feels a little verbose. Is there any chance of adding a character to replace parent:, so it’s faster to type?

1 Like

Oh yes 100%, that was just an example :slight_smile:

1 Like

I love Supernotes but honestly the search (at least from my experience) seems very unreliable. So unreliable that Supernotes is the first app in which I do not search for things because the results seem so unrelated that I find it quicker to move around the hierarchy to find cards.

I don’t know which algorithm you are using but it seems like it searches for occurrences at the letter level, instead of word, therefore results are completely skewed and I find myself wondering most of the times why is this card popping up in the results. In addition, I do not get the order in which results are returned, maybe it is just the db order or something which I am missing.

Besides the improvement of the querying algorithm itself, I would also love to have a fully featured full-text search which works globally at the command prompt level (with highlighting of matching keywords). I know it is a tough feature to implement but in my opinion a good search system should be the core of any note taking application.

Thanks for your time and effort spent on building such an amazing product! Keep up the great work!


As a new user, this had been exactly my impression, until I found cases where it was matching where a letter didn’t even occur in the note as far as I could tell (short notes with uncommon letters like “x” where they surely would’ve stuck out).

So far, it’s at least always shown the relevant results first, but I’m assuming that I’ll be someone who ends up with thousands of notes, so it having so many false positives when I have fewer than 30 notes is discouraging.

Like Riccardo, I’d also love to see a highlighting of matching keywords. I know Supernotes is supposed to be intended for shorter content, but being able to immediately visually see what it matched is handy regardless of the length of the note.

I’m excited to see where this app goes.

1 Like